The owner, Sue Moore, was a former meat forager for Alice Waters' temple of locally sourced restaurant cuisine, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. And the taste of these franks reflects her organic, artisanal creativity. The natural casing dogs are somewhere between a coarse hand-ground Italian sausage and the smooth baloney texture of a normal hot dog. In my video, one of the customers compares the taste to a Bronx deli hot dog from 45 years ago!
I shot my video at the Helms Building parking lot location in Culver City. The links and buns are steamed, then grilled, and cost $5 -- that may seem a little high, but you get eight inches of tube steak, much longer than a normal hot dog.
The organic condiments that go with an order include sauerkraut from Kruegermann (a local purveyor), homemade pickle relish, and grilled onions. There is also an Asian chutney-like hot and spicy Devil Sauce, made especially for Let's Be Frank.
There are five franks to choose from: Frank Dog (beef), Brat Dog (pork bratwurst), Bird Dog (turkey), Hot Dog (spicy pork), and Not Dog (vegetarian). I really enjoyed the white pork juiciness of the Brat Dog, and didn't find the Hot Dog too spicy, even with Devil Sauce! I asked for grilled onions (they're cooked until almost caramelized) for both. The locally made Kruegermann sauerkraut and organic pickle relish is mildly sour, mixed with a slight sweetness -- crunchy and fresh tasting.
You can order the wieners online, and I've found four-packs for sale at Surfas restaurant suppliers in Culver City. Click here for a complete list of other locations.The soft drinks offered are sweetened with cane sugar, too.
So check out my latest video for an up close and delectable hot dog jaunt to Let's Be Frank, where wieners are made with thoughtful humaneness and real flavor.
Let's Be Frank - Video
Play it here. The video runs 3 minutes, 44 seconds.
Let's Be Frank
Helms Avenue parking lot, across from Father's Office, between Washington and Venice Boulevards in Culver City.
Hours: Wed.-Fri: 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. weekends 11:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Map, click here.
Additional cart location:
Outside Silverlake Wine
2395 Glendale Blvd.
Hours: most Thursday nights: 5:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Map, click here.
To find their latest hot dog cart locations on Twitter, click here.